Atlanta woman arrested by mistake, jailed 53 days

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By David Ibata

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta police are launching an internal investigation into the case of a woman who was arrested by mistake and held in jail for nearly two months, Channel 2 Action News reports.

Police are seeking to determine what happened and if any policies or procedures were violated in the arrest of Teresa Culpepper, who spent 53 days wrongfully incarcerated in Fulton County Jail because she had the same name, Teresa, as a woman wanted by authorities.

“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get out this situation,” Culpepper told Channel 2.

The woman’s nightmare began Aug. 21, when she called police to report her truck had been taken from in front of her Hawkins Street home. She ended up being arrested for an aggravated assault allegedly committed by another woman named Teresa.

“Her birth date didn’t match. Her address didn’t match. Her description didn’t match. Other than the name Teresa, nothing matched,” said Culpepper’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant.

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